Early Childhood Music Education - Summer 2019

Early Childhood Music Education - Summer 2019



TUESDAYS JULY 23-AUGUST 27 (No Class August 6)

SATURDAYS JULY 20-AUGUST 24 (No Class August 10)

Registration Deadline: July 13, 2019

Maximum enrollment of 10 students in each class. Be sure to register early in order to secure a spot!

Music learning begins from the moment children are born, if not sooner.  Hearing is the first sense that is fully developed in humans, and studies show that children have three months of language and music exposure at birth.  As children grow, they listen, observe, and explore different sounds.  Similar to language, the more music children are exposed to and the more “musical vocabulary” they hear, the sooner they are able to develop and cultivate their own musical skills.

Early Childhood Music Education classes include class activities centered around musical conversation, exploration of musical ideas, and imaginative play by singing, moving to music, playing assorted instruments, and learning rhythm patterns.  Even the youngest infants are able to absorb sounds while toddlers are able to experiment through singing and movement.  The goal of the Early Childhood Music Education is to increase a child’s potential to learn music, and help pave the path for a lifetime full of musical enrichment.

This class is intended for both child and parent participation! Parents are asked to attend so that music activities and fun can continue at home.


Saturdays from 9-9:45am


Saturdays from 10-10:45am

Tuesdays from 5:30-6:15pm


Saturdays from 11-11:45am

Tuesdays from 6:30-7:15pm

Early Elementary (5-7 YEARS)

Tuesdays from 4:30-5:15pm

(Financial Assistance Available)

A 25% Off Sibling Discount is available for each additional sibling registration after the first enrollment. For more information, please contact our office at info@hecmusic.org or 734-645-1856.

Enroll Now

Additional Information

Program Philosophy:

Music and language are learned in similar ways.  Before learning to speak, read, and write, children must first be exposed to a large amount of language and vocabulary.  Similarly, children need to hear and experiment with a large variety of music before they can move to, sing, and eventually read and create music.

Early Childhood Music classes at the Hudson Education Center for the Arts create a welcoming, comforting, and rich music environment for children to play and explore in.  Some children will be active participants, while others will enjoy watching and soaking in the sounds and activities. While classes differ by the age level and musical readiness of the children, all classes will include activities that use singing and chanting to explore a full variety of tonalities and meters.  Many class songs will not have words because children tend to focus on words rather than musical content,. Children will have plenty of opportunity to engage in age-appropriate movement that helps guide them to move in a relaxed, sustainable, continuous manner that will help them feel and internalize music.

Children will also hear numerous rhythm and tonal patterns, which will further enhance their musical vocabulary.  We do not expect children to give “correct” musical responses. Instead, we provide children with the opportunity to explore music in the same way that they are already exploring language.

Parents' Role:

Parents should actively participate in class, sit with and serve as a good example for their child, and imitate the movements and actions of the instructor.  Parents are welcome to sing along with songs as they become more familiar with them. Some children will babble or wander around the class, and that is okay! It is important that parents do not force their children to participate or do what the teacher does.  Parents can gently encourage children to join the group, but please do not force them.  This is part of creating an exploratory learning environment for the children, and instructors will only intervene if a child is harming others or interfering with other students’ learning.  Talking during class should be limited so that children can listen and respond to the teacher’s songs and chants.

Even if a child is wandering around the classroom, they are still hearing and paying attention to the musical sounds.  However, running is discouraged due to the safety of all children in the class.  If this becomes a concern, we will help determine possible solutions.  Parents should stay near their children and gently guide them back to class activities.  The best way to encourage child participation is for parents to imitate the instructor’s actions and vocalizations during class and at home.

Please do not bring food, drink, or toys to class. This tends to distract the other children. Keep anything of this nature in a bag for use outside of the room before or after class.

Your instructor will share class songs and chants via Dropbox that can be played at home, in the car, etc.  Parents are encouraged to play recordings and engage in class activities at home so that children can continue experiencing the musical environment created in class.  The more children are able to play and explore in a musical environment, the more they will learn!

In the event of a class cancellation, makeup classes will be held the week following the semester.  If a child has to miss a class due to illness or external conflict, that absence is not able to be made-up through another class time.


Why are so many songs and chants without words?

When songs or chants contain text, children focus on the words rather than the musical context.  This is because children need words in order to communicate needs in their environment, whereas the rewards for musical performance are less tangible.  Since children are in the middle of the most important phase of language-learning development, it is much more tempting to latch onto words rather than the music, which ultimately inhibits music learning.

The songs and chants you do in class seem so hard! I struggle learning them.  Aren’t they too challenging for children?

The songs that we perform in class are challenging for adults because they are in tonalities and meters that we don’t usually hear.  As adults, we have spent most of our lives listening to songs in major tonality and duple meter. Because of this, we carry a lot of major/duple baggage that makes it harder to learn songs that are in different tonalities and meters.  Children, however, are like learning-sponges and will absorb songs and chants in unusual meters and tonalities as easily as those in major and duple! Learning a full vocabulary of tonalities and meters will help children develop a deeper understanding of music.

Why aren’t more instruments used in class?

At this point in a child’s music education, the use of instruments is not developmentally appropriate.  Children do not yet have the fine motor skills necessary to accurately play most instruments. Research also shows that children respond to aspects of music more quickly when it's presented by the human voice.  Instrumental play is included to allow students to explore different timbres, and because it’s fun!

My  child does not seem to be participating in class.  What should I do?

It is absolutely okay!!! Children will participate in class when they are ready.  Some children learn best from watching and quietly absorbing class activities. It is entirely normal for a child to observe rather than participate, and is not an indication of their interest or musical ability.  We do not assess children based on how they perform for class instructors. In fact, many children that sit quietly or wander around the classroom (seemingly not paying attention) end up highly achieving in music. Forcing a child to participate will only cause them to resent music rather than enjoy it.

Why don’t children sing along?

Until children are developmentally and musically ready, they will not be able to coordinate their singing like that of an adult.  We sing for children with the hope that they will experiment with what they hear. As they mature musically, they will eventually perform with us, but this does not generally happen until about age five.

Please contact your instructor if you have any additional questions or concerns.  The more communication between parents/caregivers and teachers, the better!

All classes are taught by:

Charlotte Darr

B.M. Music Education

Michigan State University

Attributed to Dr. Cynthia Taggart

Michigan State University

Professor of Music Education

Director of Early Childhood Education

MSU Community Music School